Longlisted for the 2024 Stella Prize

Laura Elizabeth Woollett– West Girls

Fiction · Scribe Publications

west girls

About the Book



Luna Lewis is white. But her friends aren’t, nor are her brothers, nor her one-time Princess of Indonesia–finalist stepmother. After transforming from pudgy preteen to “exotic beauty”, Luna reinvents herself as “Luna Lu” and takes her ticket out of the most isolated city on earth. However, as her international modelling career approaches its expiry date, Luna must grapple with what she’s sacrificed – and who she’s become – in her mission to conquer the world.

Featuring an intersecting cast of glamour-hungry public schoolgirls, WAGs, mining heiresses, backpacker-barmaids, and cosmetic nurses, West Girls examines beauty, race, class divisions and social mobility in Australia’s richest state. It’s also a devastating catalogue of the myriad, inventive ways in which women love and hurt one another.

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“Moving from suburban malls to modelling catwalks, empty highways to crowded Instagram feeds, West Girls is as real as it is painful.

– 2024 Stella Prize Judges

About the Author


Laura Elizabeth Woollett

Laura Elizabeth Woollett is the author of a short story collection, The Love of a Bad Man (2016), and three novels, Beautiful Revolutionary (2018), The Newcomer (2021), and West Girls (2023). The Love of a Bad Man was shortlisted for the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. Beautiful Revolutionary was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction and the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. Her writing has appeared in Kill Your Darlings, Sydney Review of Books and The Irish Times, among others. She has been the recipient of grants and residencies, including an Asialink Arts Residency in Jakarta (2017) and the City of Melbourne’s Boyd Garret Residency (2020). Born and raised in Perth, she is currently based in Melbourne.

Further Reading



Reviews 

“Female bullying is central to Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s fourth book, West Girls, which aligns the misery of girlhood with the tyranny of conventional beauty.” Liz Evans, The Conversation

“The shopping centres, secondary schools and backyards of Perth’s western and southern suburbs form the backdrop to tales of the cruelties of female adolescence and adulthood in West Girls, the darkly compelling third novel by WA-raised, Melbourne-based author Laura Elizabeth Woollett.” Gemma Nisbet, The West Australian

Links

Laura Elizabeth Woollett reflects on the six months she spent backpacking in Europe when she was 11 years old.

Read an excerpt of West Girls in Fashion Journal.

Judges’ Report


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